April 2013


The Sun Is Bright. Use More Of It.


By Michael P.C. Watts The sun is bright and warm, there must be a way to use more of it to generate power. Last time the discussion focused on the opportunity for other semiconductor materials, and whether there was any realistic opportunity for new technologies given the state of the industry. This is the third of a series of blogs to try and answer this question. If you hate serials, the com... » read more

Experts At The Table: Issues In Metrology And Inspection


By Mark LaPedus Semiconductor Manufacturing & Design sat down to discuss future metrology and inspection challenges with John Allgair, senior member of the technical staff at GlobalFoundries; Kevin Heidrich, vice president of marketing and business development at Nanometrics; Robert Newcomb, executive vice president at Qcept Technologies; and Shrinivas Shetty, vice president of marketing f... » read more

Experts At The Table: FinFET Questions And Issues


By Ed Sperling Low-Power/High-Performance Engineering sat down to discuss the current state and future promise of finFETs, and the myriad challenges, with Ruggero Castagnetti, an LSI fellow; Barry Pangrle, senior power methodology engineer at Nvidia; Steve Carlson, group director of marketing at Cadence; and Mary Ann White, director of product marketing at Synopsys. What follows are excerpts o... » read more

Shifts In Verification


By Ann Steffora Mutschler Verifying an SoC requires a holistic view of the system, and engineering teams use a number of tools to reach a high degree of confidence in the coverage. But how and when to use those tools is in flux as engineering teams wrestle with increasing complexity at every level of the design, and a skyrocketing increase in the challenge of verifying it. There are no ... » read more

Beyond Software: The Virtual-Machine Supply System


It’s no secret that EDA and IP companies have had to expand their coverage into the larger system market, thanks to changes in the semiconductor supply chain. Around 2000, the industry was very fragmented. Mobile-chip and IP vendors worked with handset makers, who then partnered with operating-system (OS) suppliers and finally network operators. The next 12 years resulted in various combinati... » read more

Taking Aim At Big Data


By Ed Sperling As the Internet of Things bridges the gap between the mobile and big data worlds, EDA and IP vendors increasingly are looking well beyond their usual boundaries. How successful they are at moving upward into a market that is far less price-sensitive remains to be seen. But from a technology standpoint, at least, the issues encountered by data centers and cloud providers are ... » read more

Design Topology Requires Physical Data


By Ann Steffora Mutschler To best understand a design topology and make decisions on clock/register gating, vector sets are required for the RTL tools to understand how to gate clocks and registers. However, if certain constraints are set on all enabled signals in RTL they can be re-used for gating clocks and registers downstream where enablers are not available—even without needing a ... » read more

Experts At The Table: The Internet Of Everything


By Ed Sperling System-Level Design sat down to discuss the Internet of Things with Jack Guedj, president and CEO of Tensilica; John Heinlein, vice president of marketing for the physical IP division of ARM; Kamran Izadi, director of sourcing and supplier management at Cisco; and Oleg Logvinov, director of market development for STMicroelectronics’ Industrial and Power Conversion Division. Wh... » read more

Reducing Wait Time


By Tom De Schutter Last month we were all waiting for white smoke to emerge from the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. I am of course talking about the election of the new pope. I couldn’t help but see a parallel with how software developers are anxiously waiting for their software to run correctly and finally get past the series of seemingly never ending bugs (black ... » read more

Unknown Signoff


In last month’s blog, Pranav Ashar, CTO at [getentity id="22416" e_name="Real Intent"], pointed out that the management of unknowns (X’s) in simulation has become a separate verification concern of signoff proportions. Modern power management schemes affect how designs are reset (start). X management and reset analysis are interrelated because many of the X’s in simulation come from unini... » read more

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